Fri, Jul 12, 2019 - Page 6 News List

World News Quick Take



Schools ink climate pledge

Thousands of universities on Wednesday declared a “climate emergency” and committed themselves with the UN to fighting climate change in an effort to mobilize their students. In a letter, representatives of more than 7,000 educational institutions on six continents promised to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 or 2050 at the latest. They also pledged more resources for “action-oriented” climate change research and skills development, and to develop environmental education on campus and through outreach programs. The initiative leaders — which include Strathmore University in Kenya, Tongji University in China, France’s KEDGE Business School, Glasgow University, California State University, Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates and Mexico’s University of Guadalajara — hope to have more than 10,000 academic institutions signed to the plan by the end of the year.


Sea bridge to boost Batam

The nation’s longest sea bridge is to start construction next year to connect two islands near Singapore and boost growth and trade with the neighboring hub. The 7km bridge connecting Batam and Bintan would cost as much as 4 trillion rupiah (US$284.2 million) and construction is set to take three to four years, the Cabinet secretariat said in a statement yesterday. The government wants to reposition Batam as an alternative shipping and manufacturing hub to Singapore with a potential to draw US$60 billion in new investment.


UN to probe drug war

The UN Human Rights Council yesterday approved a resolution mandating a “comprehensive” international review of the drug war, which watchdogs say has killed more than 20,000 people. The resolution, brought by Iceland, was adopted by a vote of 18 nations in favor and 14 against (including China), with 15 abstentions (including Japan) at the 47-member forum. It requires UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to conduct “a comprehensive written report on the situation of human rights in the Philippines” over the coming year.


EU preps drilling sanctions

The EU is to put on hold high-level talks with Ankara and negotiations on an air transport agreement, as well as freeze funding for next year, over “illegal” drilling for gas and oil off Cyprus, a draft statement said. The decision, which might still be changed, was to be discussed among EU envoys in Brussels yesterday with the aim of adopting it when the bloc’s foreign ministers meet on Monday. “In light of Turkey’s continued and new illegal drilling activities, the [EU] decides to suspend negotiations on the Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement and agrees not to hold further meetings of the high-level dialogues for the time being,” the draft said. The EU would also be ready to introduce more restrictive measures should Ankara continue drilling, it adds.


Asteroid probe lands

The Hayabusa2 probe yesterday made a “perfect” touchdown on a distant asteroid, collecting samples from beneath the surface in a mission that could shed light on the origins of the solar system. “We have never gathered sub-surface material from a celestial body further away than the Moon,” project manager Yuichi Tsuda told a news conference. “We succeeded in a world first.”

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